The Jedi are a noble people. They value hard work and determination. They preach against the corrosion of fear and the evils hate. And when they do opt to fight, they limit themselves to only the most sophisticated and civilized of weaponry. To this end, it’s not exactly in the Jedi’s character to champion what the rest of us cherish as sweet, sweet revenge… which is exactly why it would have been so jarring to see a movie titled Revenge of the Jedi.
You may already know that before its release in 1983, the developing Return of the Jedi briefly carried the aforementioned, considerably more spiteful title, ultimately defaulting to Return when George Lucas was stricken with the realization that the only dish best served cold in the Star Wars universe was one of Aunt Beru’s prized blue milkshakes. However, Revenge of the Jedi stuck with the picture long enough to see a few scant bits of promotional material grace the public with advertisement of the Midichlorian-bound vendetta of the summer blockbuster season. One especially short-lived piece of promo: the above trailer, which played only in certain movie houses in England in 1982.
This particularly cheesy teaser, which we discovered over at Oscars.org, offers only an agonizingly long opening array of printed messages about the imminent film, followed by still shots of Star Wars‘ central ensemble (including a particularly goofy one of Han Solo hanging from a tree branch—that the man was frozen in carbonite at the time this trailer hit the airwaves makes this unflattering photo just salt on the wound), and finally the Revenge of the Jedi title that would not long after be rendered defunct.
Thirty-three years after the release of Return of the Jedi, we can look back with relief that the film opted away from the vengeance-heavy title. Though expert warriors, the Jedi value peace, dignity, and mercy. In truth, no Star Wars movie with “Revenge” in the title could possibly be any good.
While we’re on the subject, check out this video of potentially huge spoilers and scoops from Star Wars: Episode VIII.
Image: 20th Century Fox
Michael Arbeiter is the East Coast Editor of Nerdist. Find him on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter.